To encourage the kids, there are so many strategies and simple behaviors that you would never top up everything. An intellectual parent would read these to add up to parenting skills and compare his/her own behaviors with the suggestions. Do you foster autonomy to encourage the kids? Encouraging is one of the most vital things of parent-child relationship. Such milestones do add to their lifelong skills and eventually affect their adulthood.
Excessively caring parents harm the kids from many aspects. A healthy relationship starts with accepting the kid as a new individual to this world. We’ve already handled the bad parenting habits to avoid. You might read that part before continuing here further. There are hundreds of studies and many theories that indicate the importance of giving freedom and autonomy for actions. You have to add one more autonomy whenever possible. Increasing the number of responsibilities is very important. However, no one should misunderstand the types of responsibilities here. We’re still against child labor. 🙂
It disappoints me when I see failing parents. They fail to keep things in an OK balance. They go wild because of the feelings. Those feelings cage them and they do not even realize the harms they cause. No one expects you to try too hard to keep them happy and smiling. Likewise, you mustn’t exaggerate the organizing and discipline. The society just needs independent and balanced people. Of course, you’re not growing your kid up to meet the needs of society. Still, you wouldn’t like to raise an obscure personality. If you cannot make them mentally strong and emotionally balanced, society will punish them really hard even when you won’t be alive to see the consequences.
Then, how can we become more autonomy-supportive moms and dads? Would your kids survive the 21st century?
Self consciousness and self-determination theory
The organism we called human require certain things to be able to develop a healthy personality without being depressive, turning dependent or behaving selfish or arrogant. These are psychological needs to meet.
- They must feel free to choose their own behavior.
- They must feel valuable and competent in things at least their peers can do. It’s better if they feel competent for more things that adults do, too.
- They must feel themselves as a respected and beloved member of their family, neighborhood and peers as long as they don’t behave mean.
- They must experience mistakes with their consequences. If the consequences would affect health and you won’t expose them, they must at least understand the consequences.
If you excel in providing the things above, you’ll be an autonomy-supportive parent.
Correct autonomy-supportive parenting
Parents should be able to see kids’ time as a journey. The journey must lead them to turn out to be healthy and responsible adults.
The environment and the life itself is generally full of opportunities to practice autonomy. Even if it wasn’t so, parents should be able to manipulate some little things to create such environment. Let’s start with problem-solving ability. Human brain comes with this ability from birth. The brain functions develop to stay healthy, safe, and alive. When they actually face problems, they start the process by themselves. When parents excessively help them, the process stops and the brain fail to learn essential path-finding. Kids also learn when they watch others solving problems. Give them opportunities to solve or observe the solvers. They must understand the problem first. This comprehension occurs only if the parents are not emotionally ill.
- They must see and understand even the unwanted social behaviors of others. They add to their mental dictionary as they keep experiencing and observing.
- To make things more clear, let’s see some healthy parenting suggestions to bolster child autonomy:
- Parents must explain the values and the common behaviors of the people around whenever they get a chance. Even the rules you do not approve in the society are important to be experienced. Then, they would also understand that you do not approve it.
- Parents have to ask their kid to be as reflective as possible. “What do yo feel about it?” is a very good question. You do not have to ask or repeat it like a robot, of course. Show them that you really care about those reflections.
- Parents must minimize judging. Do not force them lie to you. That’s not a good way to influence the children. Instead, make them realize and decide.
- Parents must let them make their choices. Even when they do not care what to wear, bring up two t-shirts for instance. “Which one do you like to wear?”
- Parents must learn some principles, methods, and techniques of teaching. Learning the basics won’t take much time but it makes a very big difference.
- Free brainstorming and guided brainstorming can be crucial to support autonomy.
- We cannot teach every reality to know. You also cannot give all the required skills to stay alive and remain healthy. Yet, you can teach learning. No teacher and no parent can teach more than kids can learn when they learn learning.
- We must always remember that learning from mistakes is a strong type of learning as well. This will also provide resilience and happiness.
Parents shouldn’t be ashamed of consulting pediatrics and psychologist. Never underestimate the professional insights and guidance. See it like buying watermelons because you are not a farmer. When your family occasionally need watermelon, will you start production? Meanwhile, you at least should know slightly know the nutritious facts, right?